Thursday, July 27, 2006


A Swedish friend told me once that "Americans see themselves as individuals who sometimes do things in groups, and Swedes see themselves as part of a group who sometimes do things individually."

As I have observed this society for many months, I have never had occasion to believe him wrong. In fact, if anything, I see it more clearly now.

Linda and I have been working in the church in recent days at the Europe Conference. Our job is not overly complicated, but it is helpful to over 300 people who need interpretation to their native language (mostly Swedish to English, but tonight there were 12 languages, not including Swedish). Not very surprisingly, we're part of the Interpreting Services team. It's not called a team, but that is what it is. Within that team, there are subteams doing various things.

There are other teams in operation as well. The usher team, for example, is a well oiled group of probably 40 people who smoothly take care of the practical details.

I groked tonight finally that this approach to working and life is one of the things that I really appreciate about Sweden.

Teamwork makes light work of heavy jobs. It makes burdens easier, and it is more fun, because we are working together. We're social creatures. Why do something alone when it can be done together!

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